Interview with Daniel Sugar Author of THE LIVES OF LILY PARIS Series
As a fan of the OUTLANDER and other stories about time travel, I'm excited that Daniel Sugar has graciously offered an interview regarding his writing process for his series THE LIVES OF LILLY PARRIS. This interview was possible through Bewitching Book Tours. Scroll down for the interview and more information about each of his books.
Thank you Daniel for agreeing to answer our questions about your writing process. I was drawn to your series because I'm a huge fan of time travel fiction, my favorite being THE OUTLANDER. I can't wait to read about Lilly's travels through time.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
When I was 6, I wrote a novel called “Super Sugar”. It was about a sugar cube that wore a cape and flew around saving cubes of sugar before they were dropped into cups of hot coffee.
2. Where did you get the idea for THE LIVES OF LILLY PARRIS?
One day I thought: what if someone told a lie and it just happened to be true? And then I thought: and what if that happened in 1692? The moment I had that, the entire story suddenly flashed through my mind and I saw Lilly, Grandmother Rose, Susan, Marcus, Kyle, Magistrate Smythe, and Peter Andrews. It was like flash paper - it was instantaneous.
Your Writing Process
3. How long did it take you to write and edit THE LIVES OF LILLY PARRIS Series?
Did you write the entire series at once or did you write it book by book? I’ve written the series book by book. I’ve been writing the series for 5 years, and there are now 6 books.
4. Were you a plotter or panster when you wrote this manuscript? Has this changed since you wrote THE LIVES OF LILLY PARRIS?
Before I write a book, I thoroughly research the time period. For example, before I wrote “The Witch and the Guillotine”, I spent months researching the French Revolution. When I write these novels, I need to know the clothes, the food, the music, the art, and the politics of the era. Once I know the era backward and forwards, I can start writing and allow Lilly to drop into the time period. Also, when I start a novel, I know that certain things have to happen. When I wrote “The Witch and the Guillotine”, I knew that Lilly would be in disguise saving aristocrats from the guillotine, and I knew that Robespierre would be trying to stop her. I knew that Lilly was going to have flashbacks to Salem and that people who died in Salem would return. I knew that Lilly would have a fight with Grandmother Rose and that this would lead to the return of the dead. And, I knew how the book would end, because Lilly and Grandmother Rose had to meet the Romanovs in the next book, “The Witch and the Revolution”. So I guess I’m not a pantser.
5. What were the challenges you faced in writing these books or the series? How did you overcome it?
I’m very lucky because I know a lot of people suffer from writer’s block. Fortunately, ideas for “The Lives Of Lilly Parris” series keep flowing. When I wake up in the morning, I always have new ideas for another Lilly Parris adventure.
Your Road to Publication
7. So are you Self-Published, Hybrid Published, or Traditionally Published? Why did you choose this route of publication?
I’ve written a few TV shows and I’ve written for a number of celebrities. It’s very collaborative and I like it, but I wanted to write a series that I controlled, so I self-published.
8. What tips, tricks, or secrets can you give a person about the type of publishing (self, hybrid, traditional) you did?
I wish I knew some amazing tricks or secrets that could help people, but unfortunately, I don’t. (I think that if you focus on the writing, that’s the secret. All the rest is really just background noise.)
9. How do you market your book? Did you have a marketing plan? If so, what is it? Did you have a publicist? Tell us the route you took in marketing your book and series.
I don’t have a marketing plan or a publicist. There are some good online promo sites and I’ve used a few of those, and I’ve done a couple of online book tours.
Just Wanting to Know…
11. I’m a YA writer and do school visits and conferences that support and encourage teens and young adults to write and follow their dreams to publication. What advice would you give a young emerging writer?
I don’t know if this will help anyone, but one rule I live by when I write is this: never go with your first idea. If you wait a while, you’ll think of something better.
Thank you Daniel for your time and your great advice. I agree about not going with your first idea. I normally find my best ideas when I begin writing with my first.
Daniel Sugar has written for a number of celebrities and for several TV shows, including “The Tonight Show, With Jay Leno”. He has always been fascinated by witches, witchcraft, the Salem witch trials, and the French Revolution. He is the author of six novels: "Salem Burning", "The Witch and the Guillotine", "The Witch and the Revolution", "The Witch and The Resistance", "The Witch and The Merry Monarch", and "The Witch and the Physician".
THE LIVES OF LILLY PARRIS by Daniel Sugar
Let yourself fall through time with Lilly Parris, a reincarnated witch. Experience the horrors of the Salem witch trials, the terror of the French Revolution, and the shock of the Russian Revolution. Follow Lilly through the Second World War, the English Civil War, and 19th-century Victorian England during the time of Jack the Ripper. Live the lives of Lilly Parris.
Get the entire series here: https://amzn.to/3IFnc3H
SALEM BURNING Book 1:
In 1692, a disreputable young man named Kyle Edwards breaks his engagement by accusing his fiancee, Lilly Parris, of witchcraft. Kyle is a liar; he does not believe in witchcraft, he is simply trying to get rid of Lilly. But Kyle is in for a shock because, as it turns out, Lilly really is a witch. “Salem Burning” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Salem witch trials.
Find it here: https://amzn.to/3vUSig6
THE WITCH AND THE GUILLOTINE Book 2:
After narrowly escaping the horrors of the Salem witch trials, Lilly Parris comes of age in 18th-century France, where she is pampered by Louis XVI and pursued by one of history’s greatest fiends: Maximilien Robespierre, the monster who sent thousands of innocent men, women, and children to the guillotine. “The Witch and the Guillotine” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the French Revolution.
Find it here: https://amzn.to/3GZwYw2
THE WITCH AND THE REVOLUTION Book 3:
As the Tsar’s subjects turn against him, Lilly Parris races to save Anastasia Romanov and her brother Alexis - the heir to the Russian throne. “The Witch and the Revolution” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Russian Revolution.
Find it here: https://amzn.to/3W5ydhJ
THE WITCH AND THE RESISTANCE Book 4:
As the Allies prepare to liberate Europe, Lilly Parris learns of a diabolical Nazi plot. “The Witch and The Resistance” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the Second World War.
Find it here: https://amzn.to/3WYiv9n
THE WITCH AND THE MERRY MONARCH Book 5:
After witnessing the execution of King Charles I, Lilly Parris tries to save the life of his son, Charles II. “The Witch and The Merry Monarch” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on the English Civil War.
Find it here: https://amzn.to/3k53cgp
THE WITCH AND THE PHYSICIAN Book 6:
As fear grips London, Lilly Parris matches wits with one of history’s most notorious serial killers. “The Witch and the Physician” is a fast-paced, brand-new take on a killing spree that shocked the world.
Find it here: https://amzn.to/3W5ykd9